Major League Soccer
Owen Coyle, Will Bruin and Jermaine Taylor preview the season opening match against Columbus Crew SC on March 7 at BBVA Compass Stadium in this week's Keys to the Game, presented by Kroger.
The schedule is finally here! Break out your calendar, grab a red pen and start circling away at the games that catch your eye. Moving back to the Western Conference means plenty of new faces for Dynamo fans. Here’s how the schedule shapes up, game by game.
March 7 vs. Columbus Crew SC: The new season and a new era in the Dynamo’s history opens up at BBVA Compass Stadium against one of the Eastern Conference’s rising teams.
March 13 vs. Orlando City SC: One of MLS’s newest teams makes its first visit to Houston along with Brazilian superstar Kaká. There’s still some familiar faces in that OCSC squad though: former Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall won’t be available as he rehabs his ACL, but the Lions also picked up Tony Cascio in the expansion draft.
March 21 at LA Galaxy: First roadtrip of the season is to sunny Los Angeles to take on the defending MLS Cup champions. No more Landon Donovan for the Galaxy, but there’s still the matter of stopping 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane.
March 28 vs. Colorado Rapids: The first of our new Western Conference neighbors to visit the Bayou City in 2015, Colorado had a down 2014 after a promising campaign the year before on the backs of some talented youngsters. Deshorn Brown and former Rookie of the Year Dillon Powers are MLS veterans now, looking to take their team back into the playoffs.
April 4 at Seattle Sounders: First trip of several up to the Pacific Northwest, and also the first shot at Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners.
April 11 vs. Montreal Impact: The Matt Jordan Cup? The new Dynamo GM gets to see the new roster he helped create stack up against the old roster he helped create. We’re rooting for the new one.
April 18 at D.C. United: This could possibly be the Dynamo’s last time to play at RFK Stadium, where they won the 2007 MLS Cup. D.C. United is targeting a new stadium opening in 2017, and since the two teams only play once a year now 2016’s game could be in Houston. D.C. hosting MLS Cup or a U.S. Open Cup game would be the only other opportunities.
April 25 vs. Sporting Kansas City: The more things change, the more they stay the same. SKC tagged along with us for the switch to the Western Conference, meaning we still get plenty of chances to play against these wonderful friends we made while in the East.
May 1 vs. FC Dallas: Back to back rivalry matches? You got it. FCD visits our downtown stadium for the only time in the 2015 regular season to kick off May. This is the first of three games in the quest to return El Capitan to its natural habitat.
May 5 vs. San Jose: Quick turnaround for a rare Tuesday night game that marks the return of Dominic Kinnear (and Tim Hanley, Steve Ralston and Mark Sherrod) to Houston. Signs will be posted to ensure they go to the correct locker room.
May 10 at Toronto FC: It’s the Dynamo’s 11th match of the season, but this will be Toronto’s first game at home. They’re currently expanding the capacity at BMO Field.
May 16 vs. Portland Timbers: The Timbers narrowly missed out on the playoffs last year after topping the Western Conference in 2013. Portland hasn’t won in Houston in their previous three attempts, now’s not the time to start.
May 22 at LA Galaxy: The second trip to the StubHub Center is the start of a summer stretch that sees the Dynamo on the road for 10 of 14 games until the end of August.
May 30 at New York City FC: The other expansion team in 2015 also has its share of big names, such as striker David Villa. Plus, we’ll be playing at Yankee Stadium which should be a unique experience.
June 5 vs. New York Red Bulls: Go to New York, then New York comes to you. Bradley Wright-Phillips and the Red Bulls visit for the only home MLS match in June.
June 20 at Portland Timbers: Second match against the Timbers goes up to Portland. Only the third time in history the Dynamo will have played at Providence Park.
June 26 at FC Dallas: Leave work early, make the drive to Frisco, be there in time for the 8 p.m. kickoff. Then watch the Dynamo win and drive back to Houston because you don’t want to stay up there any longer than you really have to.
July 3 vs. Chicago Fire: There’s an Independence Day/Chicago Fire/fireworks joke in here somewhere that I’m not going to try to put together.
July 10 at San Jose Earthquakes: First time checking out San Jose’s new digs, Avaya Stadium. We’ll wipe our shoes before we come in.
July 18 at Real Salt Lake: Always a great trip, just based on weather and scenery alone. The mountain air will be a welcome reprieve from the Houston heat in July.
July 25 vs. LA Galaxy: The Galaxy just announced that Steven Gerrard will join them in July. Oh hey look a home match against the Galaxy in July!
August 1 vs. Sporting Kansas City: If you’re looking for manageable road games, Kansas City is the closest outside of FC Dallas. Take the weekend, watch some soccer, compare your barbeque recipes.
August 8 vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Third and final game against Kinnear and Co. Starting to run out of things to say about these games. *deep breath* 11 games to go.
August 15 at New England Revolution: Jermaine Jones and last year’s MLS Cup runners-up kick off three road games in a row for the Dynamo, the longest stretch of the season.
August 21 at Portland Timbers: Final match against Portland as the playoff race starts to really heat up. Timbers Army should have the stadium rocking for this one.
August 26 at Colorado Rapids: Only the second of three midweek games scheduled for the Dynamo. What effect will short rest, travel and altitude have on the squad?
August 29 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Back at BBVA Compass Stadium for last stretch of the season. Five of the last eight games are at home for the final playoff push.
September 12 vs. Real Salt Lake: FIFA has Aug. 31-Sept. 8 set aside for international matches, so the Dynamo come off that break with a home match against perennial contenders RSL.
September 20 at Philadelphia Union: The final Eastern Conference team the Dynamo face in 2015 (until MLS Cup).
September 23 vs. Sporting Kansas City: One of three teams the Dynamo face three times in the regular season. Last midweek game of the year.
September 26 vs. Colorado Rapids: One of the other teams the Dynamo play three times. This is more tiring than I thought.
October 4 at FC Dallas: The third team the Dynamo have three games against. This is the most Texas Derbies in one regular season since 2009.
October 18 vs. Seattle Sounders: Last home game of the regular season, should be plenty on the line in the quest for the playoffs.
October 25 at Vancouver Whitecaps: This one’s kicking off at 6 p.m. CT, at the same time as the other four Western Conference matches on that same day. That’s right, simultaneous kickoff madness to end the regular season. Start stockpiling screens so you’re ready to follow all the action.
There’s no telling what the schedule brings until they start playing, so March 7 can’t come soon enough. Which games are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter or on Facebook.